Eternal Now: Contentment, Satisfied with Current Conditions
Merging with Siva
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2022-09-05
By study and self-discipline, principles of family life become permeated though your entire being and you become close to the soul in the eternal now. In the process of spiritual unfoldment, closer and closer to merging into the eternal now become accustomed to a new you. Be content, 'bihayishum.' Become an old friend to yourself. A vigil, held each day at the same time helps disentangle oneself from the external state back into the natural state, the eternity of the moment. Turn on the light, claim your heritage; through yoga allow deeper and deeper access to the fullness of being. Don't go to the past or the future without a definite purpose in mind to help accomplish something in the present.
Master Course Trilogy, Merging with Siva, Lessons 117,118.
Good morning everyone, good morning our copy cat.
And we're continuing with "Merging with Siva," Chapters in the chronological order of when they were given. We're up to 1961 "The Eternal Now" Chapter 17, a talk at the San Francisco Temple supplemented by some material from the 1970's.
"The Quest for Security
"You have at one time or another watched yourself pick up a new idea: 'I shall do this and this and this!' Then, because you had a reaction over something, your enthusiasm died; you forgot the idea and bounded off onto something else. This is the way the mind works. You forget when you reach a part of your mind that has no inclination to understand. That is a part of the instinctive mind. If you run up against a habit pattern that is too strong for your will, it is like going along in a straight line and suddenly ricocheting off in another direction. But while this happens for a long time, after a lot of study and constant self-discipline--without which the study does not do too much good--the principles of the spiritual life finally become permeated through your entire being, and you become close to your soul in the eternal now."
So my comment:
As Gurudeva pointed out, the tendency not to follow through on a good idea that has been well thought through needs to be harnessed. One way to do so is when you find yourself changing your mind to do something, make sure you have solid reasons for making the change. If not, stick to the original plan. In Hindu circles, sometimes Lord Ganesha is thought about: "I hit an obstacle, Lord Ganesha must be blocking my plan and telling me to do it another way. " Or, maybe he's not, you know. So, you want to certainly be be sensitive to obstacles but not give up. And the example I always use is Iraivan Temple. The larger a project is, the more obstacles you will encounter. So if you acknowledge that when you start you're realistic. How big is this project? How many obstacles will I face that I think I can't surmount. So Iraivan, maybe ten. I remember when the barge got stuck in the middle of the ocean. That was exciting. All the stones were on this barge that got stuck near Japan. So, we overcame that obstacle and kept going; we didn't stop cause it wasn't sufficient reason to change the plan for Iraivan.
"This week, when you think about it, you will say to yourself, 'I'm all right, right now,' and you will feel uplifted in knowing that this is so. But next week you will forget to do it. It makes you feel too complete, too secure. And being too secure is like being insecure, isn't that true?
"I met a family from the South recently that was having quite a time trying to adjust to the security of success! The husband has been a salesman all of his life, only just meeting the more or less routine needs of his family, three girls and one boy. He and his wife had always nurtured a desire for a lot of money so that the family could live in complete security, and every month for years they had put away just a little savings, with an eye to making the type of investment, at the right time, which would satisfy their dream.
"Not long ago they found themselves able to buy into land with 'remote possibilities of oil.' By spending the last of their savings to initiate drilling, by remote chance they did strike oil, bringing them almost immediate affluence through a chain of circumstances that has changed the entire pattern of their life. Now they feel more insecure than ever. When their money finally came in abundance, they found they really did not know what to do with it. They were worried because they had no experience in handling it. They felt totally transplanted, totally insecure in their apparent security.
"After several conversations, they began to see that they had found their security in the desire for money; feeling that they did not have enough had become an integral part of the family's subconscious. Be cause they were not able to live in the eternal now, they could not catch up with their new condition of life. Many people who find security in material desires are not able to become accustomed to something they are not already acquainted with."
So my comment:
Gurudeva's point is: "Because they were not able to live in the eternal now, they could not catch up with their new condition of life." One key to living in the eternal now is contentment. Contentment means being satisfied with current conditions. This, of course, does not mean we should not desire for conditions to improve, but simply we are content in the current conditions and will be content in the improved conditions as well.
Gurudeva created a Shum word that encapsulates this idea, we all know what it is:
Bihayishum: Feeling of completeness and contentment under all conditions; used as a greeting. Bihayishum.
"Be a Friend to Yourself
"In the process of spiritual unfoldment, which brings you closer and closer to merging into the eternal now, you have to become accustomed to a new you. Become acquainted with yourself, become an old friend to yourself, and you will find living in the moment, in the inspiration of now, becoming second nature to the new you. Remember, it takes time to become an old friend to yourself, the same amount of time it would take to acquire a mature friendship with someone else."
So my comment:
This is similar to the opening of the Publisher's Desk scheduled for January 2023 which is entitled "Introducing an Amazing Person." So I'll read the first two paragraphs.
"I know a spiritually awesome individual. He is able: to quickly calm himself when upset; to transform unhappiness into happiness; to inspire those who are discouraged; to always find time to listen to the stories and concerns of family and friends.
"Would you like to be introduced to this amazing person? It's easy. Just look into a mirror. Yes, that awesome person is you. But it is not the outer you--the body, the intellect or the emotions. It is the spiritual part of you, the soul, the Atman, the presence you can sense by looking into your eyes."
So, back to the text:
"In our beginning meditations on the Saivite path of enlightenment, we must establish firmly in our intellect the basic truth of 'the now.' Now and its seeming counterparts, 'then and when,' are only ambiguous to us when the instinctive energies are scattered and unrelated and when there is absolutely no self-discipline of the vital forces which, when accomplished, harnesses man's individual awareness in such a way that he becomes, over long periods of time, actually aware that he is aware, as well as being aware that his awareness is entangled in the externalities of mind due to an eventful scattering of instinctive forces. (What a sentence! That's a Gurudeva sentence that just keeps going so beautifully.) Furthermore, his awareness persists in the intuitive know-how and ability to disentangle himself from that external state as it becomes yanked back, deep within its natural state, the eternity of the moment. This ability is acquired through regular and regulated practice of yoga, diaphragmatic breathing and simple, yet profound, inner, mental, intuitive practices performed daily at the same time."
So my comment:
Gurudeva has explained the benefits of a vigil held at the same time each day. His awareness persists in the intuitive know-how and ability to disentangle itself from the external state as it becomes yanked back, deep within its natural state, the eternity of the moment. So that takes place only when you have a continuity of daily vigil practice. You're able to pull yourself out of external states quickly; that's what this is saying, because of the daily vigil.
"Having preceded the practice of yoga by firmly establishing in the subconscious realm of the mind the inevitability of the permanency of the moment, called now, through all areas of thought, there is one dispelling power, and that is man's personal ability to withdraw his awareness from past and future and, from that static state, view out upon all areas of thought rather than wallow in them. (So it's like we're over the thoughts instead of in the middle of them. Therefore we have a better perspective on what they are.) We transgress our heritage on this planet through spending inordinate amounts of time in past and future and the mixture of the two. The penance is misery, confusion and sorrow, as we stumble over the furniture in a darkened room. Turn on the light, claim your heritage and live in the moment. Center awareness deep within the head. Sit in the center of the room. Enjoy the artifacts, rest in the center of the mind and view the panorama. Only by experiencing and acquiring the ability to re-experience, through the practice of yoga, the eternity of the moment, can the aspirant allow deeper and deeper access to the fullness of his being.
The way I like to explain thinking about past and future is that we do so only if there is a solid reason for doing so, something that will benefit us in the present. We just don't go there for no good purpose. It's like we wouldn't drive to town without a purpose. So we don't go the the past or go to the future without a definite purpose in mind that's going to help us accomplish something in the present.
Thank you very much. Have a wonderful day.